Introduction: The Lord is giving instructions to Moses about firstfruit offerings. If it is a grain offering, it is to be prepared in a certain way. It is to be presented as crushed heads of new grain roasted in the fire.
Read Leviticus 2:14
I. Preparing Firstfruits. The Lord is giving instructions to Moses about firstfruit offerings. If it is a grain offering, it is to be prepared in a certain way. It is to be presented as crushed heads of new grain roasted in the fire.
- Preparing our offerings for God. Notice in vs. 14 that the Lord gave instructions about preparing to give to Him. God didn’t want just any old thing that His people felt like giving from their left overs. God wanted His offerings off the top and prepared as He said.
In like manner, God is calling us to put Him first. God wants us to give with a spirit that has been prepared to give to Him, not just paying dues to a church club. We’re called to give with a spirit that brings glory and honor to God. Let’s work on what we give and the attitude with which we give to God.
Read Leviticus 23:9-14
II. Offering Firstfruits. The Lord gives Moses further instructions about giving to Him. In our Sunday School material, there is be a giving of the first harvest to the priests. The priests are to present wave offerings.
There is to also be a burnt offering of a year-old lamb. Flour, oil, and wine are to be added to the offering. Giving to God is to be first.
- Hearing and obeying God. Notice in vs. 9 that God spoke to Moses about what to tell the people about giving to God. In like manner, God is still speaking to the leaders He sent about what to tell God’s people about giving to God.
When people complain about the Pastor begging for money, Pastors are tempted to stop talking about money. However, the Pastor must tell people that the sword is coming or suffer having their blood of his hands (see Ezek. 33:6).
Everyone who comes to church is not one of God’s people. God’s people distinguish themselves by hearing and obeying God’s word (see Jn. 10:27). Let’s work on hearing and obeying God’s will about giving. It takes money to pay staff and fund the operations of the church. It also takes money to fund ministries.
- Various types of offerings. Notice in vss. 11-13 the mention of wave, burnt, food, and drink offerings. A good Bible encyclopedia would give you some nice explanations of these terms. In very broad terms, the wave, food, and drink offerings were ways of telling the Lord “thank You” for giving me something to wave, eat, and drink.
The majority portion of these offerings were actually consumed by the priests, as a part of their compensation. The burnt offering was completely burnt up, as a way of providing a substitute payment for the sins of the one making the offering.
First, we should express thanks for all that God gives us. Just like we tip servers in a restaurant, we should give to show our appreciation to the Lord. Second, as a portion of the giving in the text was to compensate the clergy, a portion of our church’s revenue is to be used for our Pastor and the rest of the staff.
Third, as those in the text needed a substitute offering for their sins, we should thank God for Jesus being our substitute offering. Let’s give like we are thankful for Jesus, our church’s staff, and all that God has provided us.
- God first. Notice in vs. 14 the idea of God’s offering taking place before the people enjoyed the remainder. In like manner, God is still calling His people to put Him first. God is not first, when we pay our rent or mortgage, car note, bills, buy groceries, and get our beauty treatments – all before we pay our tithes and give our offerings.
God deserves to be first, and it is His will to be first. We can trust God to take care of us, if we obey Him. Let’s put God first like we believe that He is a trust worthy.
Read Leviticus 23:22
III. Sharing Blessings. In our Sunday School material, the Lord gives instructions about caring for the less fortunate. The harvest workers are not to harvest to the very edge of the fields. Nor are they to gather what has been left behind (i.e., gleanings). They were to leave these things for the poor and foreigners to gather for themselves.
- Helping the less fortunate. Notice in vs. 22 that God had a plan for taking care of the less fortunate. The less fortunate were able to gather the left overs that the harvesters were instructed to leave.
On one hand, those who had some extra were to bless those who had so little. But on the other hand, those who had little were to go gather the crops from the field. No one brought the food to them, they had to do some work.
Let’s work on helping the less fortunate find work to take care of themselves. The goal is to empower people to be able to stand on their own two feet.
Conclusion: Let’s work on giving to God in a way that brings glory and honor to Him. God has much for those who obey His will.
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